Women's suicide rates rise

Suicide rates in women have gone up in England, according to the figures from 2014 released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) today.  Women’s suicide has reached the highest rate since 2005, an increase of 14% since the previous year. Across the UK 113 more women took their own lives than in the previous year.

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Samaritans CEO Ruth Sutherland said, ‘It’s of great concern to see an indication of an increase in female suicide. Samaritans’ goal is that fewer people die by suicide and these figures help us to be more targeted in our work and reinforce the need for all agencies, the police, prisons, schools and NHS to work together to reduce death by suicide.

Today’s figures do show a slight decrease in male suicide across the UK, however they are still the most high risk group and are 3 times more likely to die by suicide than women. More specifically, men aged 45-59, are still the group with the highest suicide rate.

“These statistics show that Samaritans work is vital. Suicide is a society wide issue. Samaritans is always there for anyone struggling to cope, whatever they’re going through. Moving forward we would like to see more real-time reporting of suicide deaths. Such information would allow us, and others, to react in a timely manner to emerging trends in suicide and identify high risk groups quickly and respond to these trends as they happen to allow us to take action earlier, and change lives.” 

Samaritans is encouraged that overall the figures reveal a 2% decrease in suicide rate across the UK, 120 fewer deaths than in the previous year.

Year-on-year statistics should be treated with caution and Samaritans will continue to monitor trends over time in order to understand which groups are most at risk of suicide and respond accordingly.

For interview requests please contact Sue Royal or Lynsey Pollard at Samaritans on 0208 394 8348/8342.

Notes to editors:

In 2014, 6,122 suicides were registered in the UK, compared with 6,242 in 2013.This is a rate of 10.8 per 100,000 overall for the UK and 16.8 per 100,000 for men and 5.2 per 100,000 for women.

The male suicide rate decreased from 17.8 per 100,000 in 2013 to 16.8 per 100,000 in 2014, while the female rate increased from 4.8 per 100,000 in 2013 to 5.2 per 100,000 in 2014.

  • You don’t have to be suicidal to call us. Whatever you’re going through, call us free any time from any phone on 116 123 (this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill), email jo@samaritans.org, or visit www.samaritans.org to find details of your nearest branch.
  • It’s the public’s kind donations and over 21,000 trained volunteers that mean Samaritans is always there for anyone struggling to cope. For further information, please contact Samaritans press office on 07943 809162.
  • You can download a suite of infographics breaking down the data here.